Bosses at the French energy giant EDF will meet next week to make a final decision on the controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant.
EDF's board of directors will meet on 28 July, the company said in a statement last night, to discuss whether to go ahead with the £18bn Somerset-based project.
The company's share price was down 2.6 per cent this morning to €10.85 on the news.
A final investment decision on the plant, which would provide around seven per cent of the UK's electricity supply, was previously expected in September.
Earlier this month, government figures showed the cost of the project could balloon to £37bn, more than twice its previous estimates, due to new long-term forecasts for wholesale electricity prices, which determine the government's subsidy for Hinkley's output.
Although the company has said it would "proceed rapidly" with construction in 2019, EDF has been evasive as to when the plant will come online, although it is due to be finished by 2025.
"Hinkley Point is a unique asset for French industry as it would benefit the whole of the nuclear industry and support employment in major companies and smaller enterprises in the sector," EDF said in a statement.
French media reported last month EDF was looking for a buyer of a 50 per cent stake in its prize asset RTE, Europe's biggest high-voltage electricity transmission grid, to help fund the deal.